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can increase their wish any more than their power to destroy it. I have heard of common sailors making off with a ship and cargo, but never of the proprietor joining in such an act. I never heard even of an Irish gentleman robbing himself and running away. If they are then asked—what do we solicit, and what can they give us? I cannot doubt that a generous nation will feel no little pain in being obliged to answer—'We cannot give you power, nor place, nor wealth; we cannot undo the sad consequences of continued oppression; we cannot restore you in a moment to national health; the most we can do is to remove the actual malady in which you have been so long consumed ; and to put you into a state of possible convalescence, in which the progress, at the best

, must be hectical and tardy.

"I know the hopes of some men are damped by the petitions against us. My hope is, that they are favourable to us; when the motives and the means of procuring them are considered (and they cannot be unknown) they cannot fail of kindling a condign detestation of those who can resort, for any human object, to such obdurate and remorseless guilt, as that of exciting man against man; of loosening those bonds that should bind the subject to the state, and poisoning the sources of that Christian benevolence that ought to be the consolation of nations under those sufferings with which it has pleased Providence to permit almost the whole civilized world to be afflicted; nor can I deem it possible that so just a detestation of the oppression should not lead to a proportional sympathy for the sufferers. As to the petitions from ourselves, we know they are the natural consequences of our condition; they are much stronger proofs of deplorable prostration than of real malice; and happy is it for the quiet of Ireland, that they are so considered. When Verres was accused for his frightful maladministration in Sicily, a counter-petition was obtained; and if I forget not, at the head of the deputation who came to implore that no mercy should be extended to him, was advancing to the senate, an illustrious Sicilian, who had himself been the most dis

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tinguished victim of what authority may perpetrate in a province. I cannot imagine that the display of such a spectacle could do injury to the cause of the unfortunate supplicants; nor can I think, that if the Irish Catholic were now put upon his trial before an impartial tribunal of the English nation, his accusation weighed against his defence, his friends against his enemies, his conduct against his treatment; I cannot doubt that in such a situation, his character and claims would be so felt, that he might boldly say, 'I would to God that not only you, but all those who hear me this day, were both, almost and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. I cannot, sir, in regard to the duty of perfect candor which I owe to your Royal Highness, avoid saying that the wild spirit of aggression which of late time has raved among us, has miserably reduced the respect in which every good government cannot fail to be held. These contests for dignity, without doubt, have been most disastrous. Alas, Sir, I much fear that dignity is a robe which he, that will box for it, must lay aside during the conflict, and there is great risk that when he has been soundly threshed, he may find, like Strap, that it has been taken away during the battle by the honest gentleman who undertook to keep it.

“ But, sir, the baleful effects of this violence cannot stop here. It is too visible that manners, and morals too, must become ferociated ; so that there can be no doubt, that if good sense and feeling shall not make the edge of authority more blunt, necessity must soon make it sharper even than it is.

If the rider will not sit quietly on his saddle, but will hold his seat by grappling the sides of the animal with his spurs, he cannot avoid changing to a bridle of no ordinary force. No other way can remain for restraining the madness he provokes. This, sir, in my conscience I am convinced is the state of this country: things cannot stay as they are; temporizing palliatives will not avail; it will answer no end to draw upon our great grandsons in favour of the great grandsons of the Catholics, for liberty to be granted in the course of the next century.

“Mean time, for I more than feel how much I have passed the limits, I cannot but hope the best effects from the principle of religious freedom, which you are pleased to protect, and of which you will be so powerful a patron, and so bright an example.

"Be pleased, sir, to accept my humble thanks for your condescending wish, that I should have the honour of being present at the meeting of the friends of such a principle; as I find it is not to be immediate, I do not altogether give up the hope of being present, but, present or absent, it will have my most devout prayers for its success. I have the honour, sir, to be, with the most profound sense of attachment and respect,

"Your Royal Highness' dutiful servant,

"J. P. C."

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Mr. Curran's health declines—Letters to Mr. Hetherington-resignation of his judicial

ofice-Letters from London to Mr. Lube-Letters from Paris to the same-His last ille ness and death.

In the beginning of 1813, the declining condition of Mr. Curran's health obliged him to meditate the resignation of his judicial office. While he was in London in the inonth of April of that year, he suffered a severe attack of inflammation in his chest.

His illness, though by no means dangerous, was a subject of considerable alarm to his mind, in consequence of an old but unfounded opinion that his lungs were naturally weak; a mistake into which he had been led froin confounding the temporary hoarseness and exhaustion which usually followed every great exertion in public speaking with a constitutional debility of that organ. There is something characteristic in his manner of announcing his illness upon this occasion to his friend in Dublin.


“Dear Dick,

“ Really I think rather an escape—I have been confined to to my bed these ten days; a violent attack on my breast-lungs not touched—better now, but very low and weak. I can't say with certainty when I can set out. Will you let Mr. Lockwood (or if he is not there the Chancellor) know my situation; a wanton premature effort might kill me.

"J. P. C."



“Dear Dick,

I had hoped a quicker recovery, but the fit was most severe, I thought to have put myself into a chaise to-morrow, but the physician says it might be death, unless deferred some days longer. The malady was upon the breast; I think I caught it by walking from Kensington—the morning was snowy and the wind east. I had not even gone to a play but once-I am most uneasy at this absence from court, however involuntary. I have written to Lord Manners. I have no news; nothing could be kinder, or more general than the flattering reception I have met. Still I am not acting like a dying man. Surely I could not prepare to dance out of the world to a grand forte-piano; yet they talk of such a thing. The town is also full of rumours of a silver tea-pot, &c. &c.* What can all this mean? Doesn't it show a regard for our executors ? My best regards to all about you, and with you.

"J. P. C."

Mr. Curran was in a little time so far recovered as to be able to resume his judicial functions. In the long vacation he returned as usual to England, from which he writes as follows.


“ CHELTENHAM, September 8, 1813. “ DEAR Dick,

“ You ought to have heard from me before; I have been a truant; however, in fact I had little to say: I am here now ten days.

I took the waters; as usual, they bore down whatever spirits I had to lose. Yesterday I went to the doctor; he told me

* When Mr. Curran was confined to his bed and suffering considerable pain, he could not abstain from the same playfulness. His medical attendant having observed one morning, that he found he coughed with more difficulty than on the preceding evening * That's very surprising,” replied the patient, “ for I have been practising all night."-C.

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